Can Advertising on Twitter Add Value?

Twitter has been talking about introducing an advertising program to the picture 3 600x442 300x221 Can Advertising on Twitter Add Value?network with the incorporation of sponsored tweets. They promise that it’s an initiative that will only be pursued if it can truly add value to the user experience. Advertising and the enhancement of user experience just doesn’t sound like something that is well-matched, does it?

Well, let’s look at it this way. Irrelevant advertising is an annoyance; like those flyers that show up on the doorstep of your home, or the large pop-up ads that have nothing to do with the website you’re browsing that block your ability to read the content. This type of advertising really has given the whole industry a bad name.

There is such a thing as added value in advertising. You might deny it, but you know the next time you take your kids to see a Disney or Pixar movie, you appreciate the preview (a form of advertising) for the next film to come out that caters to children. It helps you plan your next family day out and gives your kids something to look forward to. Plus, the next time they whine that you haven’t been doing anything fun, you can remind them about your plans to see that movie that hasn’t come out yet. See? Value added advertising, right?

So, how does the concept translate to Twitter? Well, the first thing to remember is that Twitter users are tough critics. After all, many users will tell you they’d much rather follow those users that are engaging and inadvertently market their business or product as they go than those marketers who use Twitter to market. This form of advertising is already happening on Twitter, and it’s not always well received. Introducing sponsored advertising would surely mean even more scrutiny.

The thing is, Twitter has yet to say HOW their advertisements would bring value to users, but it may be possible (see the diagram above for the ultimate goals). There is opportunity for ads to be received by users based on their local trending topics or based on hashtags (#) they’ve used in recent history. Of course, this would require the development of a complete back-end automated advertising tool or a heck of a lot of man power but that may be what it takes to add value.

Like many, I’m sceptical that Twitter can deliver added value with advertising, but I’m curious to see just what they’ll come up with. I know I’m already not impressed with the ads that pop up on the mobile apps I use on my Blackberry, and it will take a lot for me to accept messing with a good thing. Twitter, social networks, blogs and SEO strategies all use a less “in your face” approach to business marketing that are effective and publicly well-received.

What do you think about this?

Image via: bbh-labs

 Can Advertising on Twitter Add Value?

Written by Beth

Beth Hodgson is a professional writer based in Toronto, Canada. Beth is also the founder of WriteSourcing, a Toronto-based freelance writing and editing company that specializes in managing blogs and creating web copy for corporate clients


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